Cultivating a workplace culture for social workers

Organizational culture has been studied in many different disciplines. In Management and Business studies, organizational culture is often viewed as a concept that can be influenced or changed within organizations. Having a System’s Theory basis, many models of organizational culture are compatible within Critical Ecological System’s Theory which is often used by Social Workers. Critical Ecological System’s Theory recognizes organizations as a system to interface with clients. Values are an essential aspect of organizational culture and are foundational in the Social Work profession. Organizational culture models may be useful in aiding the application of values throughout social work organizations. This paper uses organizational culture concepts to inform guided interviews of behavioral health employees of a single organization with two sites that have reportedly different cultures. Information gained from these interviews as well as principles from organizational culture models are used to formulate the guidebook, Cultivating a Workplace Culture for Social Workers.